New Environmental Weblog: Green Inc.

There is new weblog on the New York Times website that I want to mention today, and it is called Green Inc.: Energy, the Environment and the Bottom Line.  Developed by three environmental educators and writers, this weblog focuses on the following:

How will the pressures of climate change, limited fossil fuel resources and the mainstreaming of “green” consciousness reshape society? Follow the money. From renewable energy policy to carbon markets to dubious eco-advertising, our energy and environment reporters will track the high-stakes pursuit of a greener globe.

Read more

Hot, Flat, and Crowded: A Revolutionary Paradigm of Teaching for Energy and Environment

In a democracy, there are differing views on how the government and industry should deal with energy, energy sources, and the environment.  I’ve visited the American Presidency Project, and there you can read the complete platforms of the Democrats and Republicans.  You have to go the Libertarian Party and the Green Party websites to read their platforms.  You might set up a project where your students visit these websites, and extract the respective party’s positions on energy, the environment, and science research. … Read more

Beijing Air

Earlier this year, there were concerns that air pollution in Beijing would be a serious threat to athletes participating in outdoor events, especially running, and cycling. In fact I wrote several posts in the Spring that highlighted this issue that you read, and find out what were the concerns.

China’s Olympic committee indicated that a number of policies were going to enacted to reduce pollution in the city; allowing cars to drive into the city of an odd/even (licence plate) plan; shutting plants down for the several months, almost insisting on public transportation, etc.… Read more

The Next President’s Energy Manifesto: An STS Project for Students

In an interview on late-night television, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. outlined an energy manifesto for the next President of the United States.  His comments, which were based on an article he published in Vanity Fair provide the nucleus for an potential STS investigation for our students.  Indeed, if carried out in the early Fall semester, the investigation would enable students to participate in an important aspect of the Presidential Election.

In the article, entitled The Next President’s First Task (A Manifesto), Kennedy directs in his “letter” to the President, that we as a nation (and a world) should move toward a decarbonized economy, and that the electrical power grid of the U.S.… Read more

Air Pollution: Monitoring the Air You Breathe

Do you think there is any harm in going for a brisk 3-mile run on a summer afternoon in the metro-Atlanta area? It’s not a good idea. The ozone level is highest in the late afternoon and early evening.
Late afternoon readings of ozone are typically highest for the daily cycle of ozone levels. It’s not a good time to be out running.
Temperatures are beginning to rise in Atlanta, and other northern hemisphere cities. And with it, increased air pollution.… Read more

Earthday 2008 for the Birds

Earthday is a day for action and reflection. Some reflection follows:

I read two wonderful books about birds this past year by Bernd Heinrich, professor emeritus of biology at the University of Vermont. The first was the Snoring Bird: My Family’s Journey Through A Century of Biology. It’s a wonderful story of his father’s life which begins in pre-World War I Germany. His father becomes a devoted and famous naturalist, and and lives a life through two world wars in Europe, and comes to Maine where is son, Bernd, becomes an avid biologist at UVM.… Read more

Environment Important to the People, but not at the Presidential Debates

Charles Blow had a very interesting op-ed column in the New York Times today entitled “all atmospherics, no climate.” The op-ed focused on the graph shown below, generated from survey data by the Pew Research Center, which describes the percentage of Americans who think the issues of protecting the environment, and dealing with the energy problem should be top priorities for the president and Congress.

Blow points out that of the 2,372 questions posed by the moderators (primarily national TV anchors of major corporations), only 8 questions asked mentioned global warming or climate change.… Read more