Starter: Ted Talk: "Paper Beats Plastic? How to rethink environmental folklore"
- What are her main points?
- What is your reaction to her talk?
- How could you apply her spirit of innovation to ANY job you pursue? (education, healthcare, engineering, environmental consulting, coaching, business, etc....)
Answers to yesterday's questions: (Props to Eric Wanless with Rocky Mountain Institute)
a. If the middle east cut us off from oil, would we still be self-sufficient?
Oil is a global market, we don't get to pick and choose where our oil comes from or where it goes... that being said, with tar sands oil (quite dirty), we are not that dependent on OPEC/middle east for the world's oil. Canada is now in the top 5 countries as far as proven reserves, and if you look at production of oil, we're not that dependent on OPEC. Self sufficient implies that we would be able to produce all the oil we need domestically, which ins't true. We could prob do this if you include Canada and Mexico. But... as I noted before, we cannot choose where our oil goes or comes from on the global market - it is totally fungible.
b. Why are we still using oil from the middle east?
See note on not being able to choose where our oil comes from. When you buy oil as a refinery, it typically comes on a tankers with crude from all over the world... Saying you only want oil from a certain country is like saying "I only want to swim in ocean water that came from run-off from Costa Rica."
c. What is realistic possibility of using more renewable energy and weaning off oil/gas/fossil fuels?
Very possible. Likely that we will invest heavily in natural gas transportation in the near-term. Light-weighting vehicles and efficient vehicles, and smart development to reduce vehicle miles travelled can get us a long way. Transition to biofuels possible in concert with that. See http://www.rmi.org/transportation for specifics.
d. What type of waste and energy is involved in producing solar panels?
See this article. It highlights the energy required and the toxic wasted produced from solar panel production methods but also does make this point: "The roughly 20-year life of a solar panel still makes it some of the cleanest energy technology currently available. Producing solar is still significantly cleaner than fossil fuels. Energy derived from natural gas and coal-fired power plants, for example, creates more than 10 times more hazardous waste than the same energy created by a solar panel, according to Mulvaney".
1. Continue the ppt on envt ethics from yesterday
2. Work Time:
· Essay refinements due tomorrow
· "Land Ethic" reading due tomorrow
· Quiz on Tuesday that applies concepts of ppt and "Land Ethic" to a speech by Rachel Carson
Humanities 11 Teacher at Animas High School