In a recent study conducted by Priceonomics, looked at the the ecological footprint of each country and compared them to each other. They determined that people are using "vastly" more resources than the earth can reproduce, even with all the environmental legislation being passed around the globe. China, the US, and India carry the largest global ecological footprint, while Montserrat, and Nauru have the smallest. Likewise, Canada has the, "most environmentally friendly major economy and tops the list with 7.42 global hectares per person of surplus". This essentially means that Canada is has produces more than they need for the amount of people in their country. South Korea is on the opposite side of the spectrum with a surplus defect of around 5.19 HPP. In conclusion, countries with larger economies are far more likely to extract more than what can be replenished, and if that pattern does not change over time, we are going to be in a pickle.
As spring rounds the corner, our air quality is going to be getting worse and worse leading into summer, the reason is two fold. First, temperatures begin to rise leading to more carbon dioxide in the air, and more harmful particles such as dust circulating our breathing air. This is corroborated by the increasing in harvesting/planting done by farmer, which also releases a lot of harmful breathing particles into the air. This is supported by the guardian which writes "Heavy fertilizer use and spreading manure that was stored over winter causes big releases of ammonia each spring. This reacts chemically with pollution from traffic and industry to create particles that can stay in the air for a week or more". It is true that countries have been working to reduce ammonia emissions, however we still are not quite there. The problem is, just because one country reduces their ammonia emissions, doesn't mean they are necessarily safe. The guardian further writes, " Around one third of the health impacts from western Europe’s particle pollution occurs in other parts of the world". This is exemplified by the 55,000 early deaths caused cause in China as a result of western Europe consumption of Chinese products. Spring time is not the best for the central valley, or China.
Even though Marijuana has been legalized in 28 states, some still chose to grow and sell illegally. That being said, for those that purchase marijuana, purchase it through registered sources. A recent article published by the Washington Post found that many illegal pot growers are using Gatorade bottles to harvest a dangerous insecticide called carbofuran. These chemicals are killing animals, lingering in the soil and threatening to contaminate towns’ water supplies. Growers are using the chemical to kill insects and protect their crop, when in actuality the pesticides used threatens surrounding plant and animal life, while also harming the individual that ingests the drug. The solution to this problem is tough. Even after legalization, it is still difficult for the government to regulate the sale of weed, however, this chemical can only be produced in forest areas, which means that if park rangers constantly monitor the grounds, they can help eliminate the issue.
As of right now, Solar Energy powers a measly 5/10 of a percent of the United States. While this number is extremely small, it is likely a cause of insufficient research and lack of production. Because solar panel technology is relatively new, prices are still very high making it so only a select few actually harness the true power and savings that come with solar panels. Another reason why they are relatively underused is the fact that they are not that powerful, yet. According to an article posted by science daily posted yesterday, "In the future, solar cells can become twice as efficient by employing a few smart little nano-trick". What is so significant about this finding, is that humans can nearly double to productivity of solar panels, by just a little nit tricks. Imagine that power that we will be able to unlock as time continues to progress and science continues to advance. The trick is to combine to different solar panels in order to fully utilize the suns rays, furthermore, all resources required to build the solar panel are "readily available on earth" meaning that further deteriorating our natural nonrenewable resources will not be a problem. This is impactful because as time progresses, we get closer and closer to running out of fossil fuels making it so we need to be prepared for full self sufficiency.
As we near the 3rd month of Trumps Presidency, Trump attempts to get rid of all of our Environmental Laws, that the US has built up since Roosevelt's presidency back in the early 1900's. The first red flag was applying Pruitt to head the EPA, an agency he has attempted to destroy, and has sued over 14 times. Unfortunately, the carnage does not stop here, Trump has already signed/ begun voting on a number of executive orders/bills that will dismantle our environmental policies.NJ.com found that," First Trump signed an executive order to get rid of President Obama's Climate Action Plan. Then he threatened millions of acres of wetlands and streams by signing an executive order to eliminate the Waters of the United States rule. Congress even helped Trump sign a law to allow coal mine waste to be dumped directly into streams. Trump, Pruitt and a Republican controlled Congress is a triple threat for the environment. Congress could even pass legislation overturning the law that prevents toxic dumping in our waterways or increasing fracking and oil drilling on public lands and off our coasts. They have already voted to repeal the Antiquities Act that was passed by President Teddy Roosevelt to protect established national monuments". These acts of atrocity have to be stopped
Just 2 hours ago, the World Health Organization published an astonishing report that concluded 1 in 4 deaths of children 5 or below were a result of climate change. This is massive in the world of science, especially environmental science, for it demonstrates the effects that we are having on our earth. Just one example of the effect climate change is having, we can look to a rising level of pollen, leading to an increase of 11-14% increase of children who reported asthma before the age of 5. This is just one of the many examples, others including water pollution, air pollution, electronic and electrical waste. All of these are environmental harms that can be prevented. As matured humans, we might not feel the immediate effect of global warming because our bodies are so developed, however story is different for children, "A polluted environment is a deadly one – particularly for young children," says Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General. "Their developing organs and immune systems, and smaller bodies and airways, make them especially vulnerable to dirty air and water." A number of people view climate change as just "the weather" when in reality it is a serious problem that is literally killing millions of children every year. Hopefully this report circulates through the government, because there are definitely some people who need to see this eye opening study.
A Uk waste management company is looking to bring back a deposit return scheme that is supposedly a "win win" for the environment. Palmer Jones, an editor for recourse magazine, stated that, "A bottle deposit scheme would help consumers and producers make the step-change required to reinvigorate the country's stalling recycling performance and help us to unlock the value in packaging as a commodity, which can be put back into the supply chain rather than throwing it away." Not only would this save the company millions of dollars, it would also save households money, and help the environment. The system makes it easier for the average person to help reduce plastic waste, and protect our environment. Last year an estimated 8 million tons of plastic was released into our oceans, demonstrating the need to more effective recycling programs. Some opponents of DRS claim that it wouldn't really help reduce waste and it would be cheaper, however, a number of studies, for example one put out by the Yosemite epa, concluded that DRS would save money and aid in reducing waste, just not by a ton. It is important to remember that some change is better then no change.
As 2017 continues to be the wettest year in California for the last 20 years, everybody is astounded, and not quite prepared. Nearing 15 inches of rainfall this year in Turlock, and probably far more in other parts (because we of the rain shadow we do not get as much), lakes are filling up and rivers are flowing. As lakes begin to fill, lots of stress is placed on dams, for it is there job to hold the water in and release it in healthy quantities. However, as substantiated by the Washington Post, not all reservoirs have adequate facilities, meaning that they are not ready for this huge amount of water. This is exemplified by the failing of the Orville Dam spillway. Because of the huge amount of water and some cost cutting choices when building the dam, the water spilled over the spillway (ironic) and undercut the spillway. This has led to some serious issues as Orville is struggling to find ways to release the water. Orville has decided to evacuate 185,000 people for precautionary measures because if the dam were to overflow, the whole town would flood. Hopefully Orville is able to manage the problem and as of right now, it looks like they are working to solve the problem.
Going into February, California has already reached its "normal" level of rain (11 inches) and continues to grow. This is amazing considering the new rain year started at the end of November, meaning it has only been about 3 months and we have already reached "normal". According to Mr. Hollister, California would need around 21 inches to officially be out of the drought, however, even if we do not reach that amount, the total snow pack accumulating in the mountains will likely be enough to substantiate that amount. According to the CSM, snow packs in the Sierra have reached 173 percent of average for February 4th. It is expected that once Spring arrives, the current snow pack will deliver 5.7 trillion gallons of water, which is a lot of cubic feet. According to the University of Colorado-Boulder and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory the snowpack has filled more than a third of California’s “snow-water deficit", which is a substantial amount, however it is still debatable to whether we ought to be considered out of the drought. One thing is for sure, we are on the path to completion, however, it is still extremely important to conserve water in order to foster a healthy future and generate enough ground water to survive the next drought.
Throughout his presidency and pre-presidency, Trump has shown a disregard for the environment. Whether it be stating that climate change is just a hoax, or propagating the revival of coal and other fossil fuel industries, it is clear that Trump has not the slightest concern for the environment. Ironically, one of Trump's most famous policy's (that arguably won him the campaign), the wall, also has a large environmental toll. Out of all of the policy's Trump has proposed, this one would be seen the least likely to be a detriment to the environment. "In terms of climate adaptation, building a border wall is an act of self-sabotage," said Dan Millis, a program manager with the Sierra Club's Borderlands project. This is because it blocks wildlife migration even more than what currently exists. Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. That current borders "have led to erosion and flooding in border communities as well as a roadblock for the natural movement of wildlife across the border". Once again we see that adding more borders not only has monetary costs but environmental. And for what? We already have some of the strongest border security in the world. As perfectly worded by Raphael Sperry, president of the San Francisco-based Architects, Designers and Planners for Social Responsibility, "Fueling climate change does not help public health, safety and welfare. It actually jeopardizes public health, safety and welfare." The pipelines were enough, please no wall, the earth thanks you.