Thursday, November 29, 2007

Kids "reinvent The Environment"

Kids "reinvent The Environment" - by Wendy Mitchell

As the old saying goes, "one man's trash is another man's treasure," and now kids nationwide are taking something old and making it new and functional for a good cause-to protect the environment.While recycling has grown in general during the past 20 years, recycling of specific materials has grown even more drastically. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 50 percent of all paper, 34 percent of all plastic soft-drink bottles, 45 percent of all aluminum beer and soft-drink cans, 63 percent of all steel packaging, and 67 percent of all major appliances are now recycled

To support future generations of recyclers, Doubletree Hotels' Teaching Kids to CARE initiative is educating elementary school students about their roles in caring for the environment by challenging them to create fun solutions that could some day save the Earth. Students will work hand in hand with teachers and hotel team members to "imagine" how they would turn recyclable household products into "eco-friendly" solutions that help the environment.

For those parents and teachers wanting to encourage their kids and students to increase their eco-friendly practices, here are a few tips:

1. No trash week-Challenge your family or class to lower their trash output. Several easy tips to follow include using reusable bags when shopping at the grocery store and bringing plastic storage containers (or even better, reused jars or plastic tubs) for leftovers with you when you eat out.

2. Buy recycled materials- Encourage kids to be environmentally accountable by being responsible purchasers. Recycled paper towels, plastic waste bags and inkjet cartridges are just a few of the items available. The EPA estimates that one ton of recycled paper also saves 2,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, 3,000 gallons of water and keeps 30 pounds of air pollution out of the sky.

3. Cut out bottled water-Each year more than 4 billion pounds of plastic bottles end up in landfills or as roadside litter. Plastic bottles also require massive amounts of fossil fuels to manufacture and transport. Instead, encourage the use of sturdy plastic bottles which can be repeatedly filled and washed.

4. Use the "off" switch-Save electricity and reduce global warming by turning off lights when you leave a room and powering off major appliances. Make a game of it and create a family or class chart and recognize efforts by tallying points for turning off lights and the television, etc. Reward kids with a special treat.

5. Recharge those batteries-Purchase rechargeable batteries and teach your children how to recharge batteries for their toys. This not only helps to reduce garbage, but also keeps toxic metals such as mercury (found in some batteries) from getting into the environment.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Effects Global Warming May Have On Our Planet

The Effects Global Warming May Have On Our Planet By: Kadence Buchanan -

While many realize that global warming is occurring on our planet, few understand the implications that this may have on our way of life. These rising global temperatures are going to cause a host of changes on our planet, and we need to act now or prepare to adjust to some very profound changes.

First, these rising temperatures present a huge threat to our ice-caps. Layers of ice that have not melted for thousands of years are beginning to break apart and fall into the ocean. One of the biggest ice sheets on the planet, located on Greenland, is at a great risk of splitting apart and falling into the ocean. While it doesn't sound like too big of a deal, the loss of the Greenland ice sheet will cause catastrophic circumstances world wide. The world's sea level is expected to rise as much as 23 feet when the sheet falls, and that spells disaster for the coastal cities that represent some of the largest and most important centers of trade and commerce across the planet. Manhattan would be sunk; much of Florida would be underwater, and that's not even to mention the worldwide consequences. Every area of the globe would be affected by this rising of sea levels, and the disaster caused would make hurricane damage seem like a blessing. Millions of refugees from the coastal cities will be without home or workplace; it would be one of the hugest human issues ever faced in our history. The changing of the climate could also affect a host of circumstances on our planet; crop yields can be affected by the rising temperatures, which would also pose significant problems to a planet of refugees. Much of the land may become barren due to the effects of temperature change, and we may find some of our most arable lands subject to the effects of soil erosion, and eventually, a transition into desert land. Also, water supplies, forests, and plant and animal life would be affected by the planet's changes, and we may not be able to see how significant these changes may affect our lives until they are already upon us. For that reason, it's important that we increase our knowledge of global warming, and do our best to prevent it in the coming years. While it may have adverse affects on our economy and our way of life, we owe it to our children to give them a peaceful, safe planet to grow up in.

Easy Steps To Fighting Global Warming Today To Save Tomorrow

Easy Steps To Fighting Global Warming Today To Save Tomorrow By: J Simkhai

There are a lot of things we don’t know about our world but this next fact is true: There is no debate among experts scientists about global warming. It is a fact and it is happening right now. We are causing it by burning fossil fuels and cutting down forests. Records show these activities are pumping far more CO2 into the atmosphere than ever before.

That leaves us with an important question. How can you, just one person in this big world, stop temperatures from rising, glaciers from melting and oceans from swelling? The answer is easy. Do your part. If everyone one of us just changed our daily routines even a little bit, we can change the outcome of the earth’s future.

Here are something simple steps you can try to do everyday. These may not seem like much of a change but you will be pleasantly surprised at how well they work. You’ll be saving the earth and money.

Buy organic cotton - Annually, conventional cotton is responsible for the use of $2.6 billion worth of pesticides, more than any other crop. Look for labels that say certified organic, meaning the prohibition of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers have been met.

Take your own bag when you shop – We throw away a hundred billion plastic grocery bags a year. That's a whole lot of petroleum used to produce items that clog our landfills. Governments worldwide are restricting the manufacture of plastic bags or taxing them. Many stores charge their customers a few cents extra for them. Others give a small refund for each of their bags you don't fill. So tuck your own bag into your purse, pack, or pocket next time you shop.

Make your spring cleaning safer – Try to buy one green cleaning product to replace a conventional toxic one, such as those containing caustic ammonia and chlorine bleach. These chemicals can burn your eyes and respiratory tract and, if accidentally combined, produce a toxic gas. Also, they can find their way into our waterways and harm wildlife.

Save money and fossil fuels - The average household spends ten to fifteen percent of its annual electricity bill on lighting. Most incandescent light bulbs use only ten percent of their energy to produce light while the rest is wasted as heat. Use an energy efficient, compact fluorescent light bulb instead. The EPA estimates that if just one room in every U.S. home was lit by CFLs, we'd save 1,000 billion pounds in CO2 emissions each year. Some states even offer green power options for consumers who want to buy energy from environmentally friendlier sources such as wind or hydroelectric power, rather than coal-fired power plants.

Save water in a second – Your faucet flows about three gallons of water per minute, so turn off the tap while you brush your teeth. Take showers instead of baths. They use considerably less water.

Buy locally grown produce - An astonishing waste of fuel is used when getting Fruits and vegetables to the dinner table. Buying local produce means better flavor and the chance to try varieties not sold elsewhere. It also helps keep small local farmers in business, which in turn preserves the countryside.

Defeat house and garden pests without pesticides - Household pests are not only bothersome but they can also spread disease and cause allergic reactions. Toxic sprays are no solution since they are just that – toxic.

Use safe plastics – As you walk through your local grocery store, take a look at the shelves notice how much of the food and water we buy comes in contact with plastic. Not all plastics are created equal and some are considerably safer than others, especially when it comes to food packaging and storage. Look for containers made from #2 plastic, which is both recyclable and won't leak toxic chemicals when properly used. Also, #4 and #5 are safe alternatives, though can’t be recycled.

It’s obvious that something needs to be done today about global warming and not today. Hopefully, by following some of the above mentioned suggestions, there will be a tomorrow for our children and not just a wasteland.

By: J Simkhai

Effects Of Global Warming That Are Happening Today

Effects Of Global Warming That Are Happening Today BY J Simkhai

While you may not like Al Gore and not believe a single word he says, you do need to give him credit for bringing global warming to the public eye. Global warming is a real threat and threatens all of us regardless of religion, race, or background. Sure, we’ve all been aware of pollution and greenhouse gasses. We just didn’t know it was actually that bad.

All of the most recent scientific data confirms that the earth's climate is changing at an alarmingly rapid pace. Global temperatures increased by about 1 degree Fahrenheit over the course of the last century, and it are only likely to rise even more rapidly in coming decades. A thickening layer of carbon dioxide pollution traps heat in the atmosphere causing the phenomenon.

Scientists say that unless we reduce our global warming emissions, average U.S. temperatures will rise another 3 to 9 degrees by the turn of the century with far-reaching effects and damaging consequences. Many of these changes have already begun. Some impacts from increasing temperatures are already happening.

First off, ice is melting worldwide, mainly in the Arctic and Antarctic waters. This also includes mountain glaciers and ice sheets covering West Antarctica and Greenland.

Researchers and scientists have recently tracked the decline of Adélie penguins at Antarctica and discovered their numbers have fallen from 32,000 breeding pairs to just 11,000 in a little less than 30 years.

The rise of the sea level was faster over the last century than any other recorded data we had.

Much of the United States has warmed, in some areas by as much as 4 degrees Fahrenheit. Many had their hottest seasons or days on record in the late 1990s.

Some species of butterflies, foxes, and alpine plants that are inclined towards cold weather have been found farther north than ever before. They are moving to higher, cooler areas.

Precipitation such as rain and snowstorms has increased on average all across the world.

The invasive Spruce bark beetles of Alaska have seen a boom in populations because of twenty years of warmer than usual summers. These insects have caused unheard of environmental damage by chewing up 4 million acres of spruce trees.

While the above effects can bee seen and found now, there are other drastic events that we will soon witness if this trend continues. Some of these other effects which can happen at some point this century are:

Our sea levels are rising at a scary rate. They are expected to rise between 7 and 23 inches just by the end of this century. If we cannot stop global warming and it continues, add an additional four to eight inches to that number from our polar caps melting.

Hurricanes and other high-powered storms are likely to become more common and even stronger. The number of category 4 and 5 storms has greatly increased over the past 35 years, along with ocean temperature. Think Hurricane Katrina and multiply that by ten continually throughout the summer season.

Deadly floods and epic droughts will become more common ever single year. The annual precipitation of the United States increased between 5 and 10 percent since the early 20th century, largely the result of heavy downpours in some areas. The national drought between the years 1999 and 2002 was one of the three most extensive droughts recorded by scientists in the last 40 years for the U.S.

Some diseases like malaria and yellow fever will spread from disease-carrying mosquitoes that are spreading as climate shifts allow them to survive in formerly inhospitable areas.

By: J Simkhai

The Issue Of Transportation And Extreme Events In Global Warming

The Issue Of Transportation And Extreme Events In Global Warming By: Elias Maseko

With the issue of transportation, it is predicted that Americans will continue to put gasoline-burning cars on the road at alarming rates over the next twenty years. The number estimated is around 300 million new cars. With this expectation, it is clear that cars should be made with energy efficiency in mind. Otherwise, they will cause extensive global warming.

Hybrid engines are being touted by many celebrities as a way to prevent global warming. Many celebrities prefer the Prius hybrid car. These hybrid cars do, in fact, double gas mileage. At the same time, they reduce harmful emissions that lead to global warming.

Ethanol is being used in many countries, now including the US, to decrease pollution and dependence on foreign oil. Global warming is impacted, too. Brazil, which uses ethanol almost exclusively, makes the fuel from sugar cane. In the US, corn is the chief source of ethanol.

The world, especially the US, can make some changes in the way they move about and transport their goods. If people do nothing, greenhouse gasses will surely increase drastically. However, if changes are made, global warming will be cut to a very large degree.

Effects of extreme events

There will be more people who will die as a result of intense heat. Elderly people and poor people who cannot afford air conditioning will be most at risk. The people who do have air conditioning will run theirs more. The added energy use will increase global warming as more greenhouse gases are emitted into the air.

Farmers and ranchers will notice problems with their operations due to global warming. Crops will have a risk of being damaged by drought, flooding, or erosion. The uncertainty has always been a part of farming, but now, it will be even worse.

Finally, the hurricanes intensified by global warming will have a great impact on the earth. People will be injured or killed in the storms themselves and others will die as a result of infectious diseases that come as a result of the mess of the clean-up.

By: Elias Maseko

Global Warming: The Ipcc Reports

Global Warming: The Ipcc Reports By: Alson Maseko

With the release of the IPCC reports, attention was given as to how much of the problem was due to human activity and how much to causes in nature. Which then this report makes predictions of how the course of global warming will run in the future.

This report notes many climatic changes that are occurring due to global warming. Some of these are changes in the make-up of the atmosphere, warming of the earth, and changes in ice, snow and permafrost. Also included were notes about the different amounts of rainfall and flooding, along with the frequency of drought.

Different models were given of the course global warming would take in the next century. The models were run using different scenarios. They all turned out somewhat different. However, they all indicated significant global warming.

Working Group II was involved with determining the Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability surrounding global warming. Working Group III had the task of determining what would be the best Mitigation of Climate Change. This part of the report gave recommendations to world leaders on the subject of global warming initiatives.

Movies on global warming from the IPCC reports

Although Al Gore has a book by the same name, most people know An Inconvenient Truth as a feature length documentary movie. The movie boils down to a power-point presentation that Gore has given many times on the subject of global warming. Al Gore simply presents facts in a low-key, personable way. The film includes some biographical information about Al Gore, too.

Some fictional movies have been made with the theme of global warming. One is The Day After Tomorrow, starring Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal. While the science may not be precisely or even nearly right, the special effects are fantastic. It is a good old-fashioned disaster flick with all kinds of natural disasters. Bring out the popcorn, but do not expect to be educated.

There is a set of movies called the Secrets of the Millennium. Probably the best of this series is the one with information on global warming. It is titled Secrets of the Millennium: Man vs. Nature: Who Will Win? It dramatically exposes humans' desires to control earth, while letting things get out of hand environmentally at the same time.

By: Alson Maseko

Beating The Heat With Air Conditioners

Beating The Heat With Air Conditioners

Don't know if you have noticed but global warming is taking its toll on the world. The once rainy and cool seasons when most people enjoyed warming up to a warm blanket in front of the fireplace now seem irregular with climate change. The heat during summer may even be unbearable for some geographical locations. To avoid sweating like a pig, most people find comfort in the indoors by basking in the cool air and ventilation provided by air conditioners.

In Ancient Rome, aqueduct water was made to flow and circulate through passages in the walls of houses and buildings to provide some sort of ventilation and coolness to the corridors. Further, wind towers and cisterns were utilized in medieval Persia to achieve that cooling effect. Nowadays, all we have to do is push a button, set the temperature and let the air conditioner do its job.

When you come right down to it, an air condition is an appliance that has the ability to extract warmth and heat from a certain area with the use of the refrigeration process. In this cycle, heat is transferred from a heat source with low temperature to a higher temperature heat sink with the use of a heat pump. This naturally results in a steady steam of heat in the opposite direction.

Soothing hotness and providing comfort on sweltering days and warm nights, air conditioners have grown to be a vastly popular addition to homes worldwide. With its increasing demand, an assortment of air conditioning products have spurt in the market offering features that are meant to suit a range of temperature cooling needs. Let us look into some of them.

Window and through-wall units

These air conditioners are usually rectangular in shape and more commonly seen on wall openings or windows of homes, work offices and buildings. There are vents on both sides of the appliance. This is meant to allow the inside air to be cooled by blowing it in and out of the unit with the use of the fan. Concurrently, the outside vent blows the air out of doors in and out with the use of another fan and this works as the heat sink of the unit. These air conditioners are fairly sized and can have the capacity to offer conditioning for only one to two rooms so you may need several units to fully achieve that cool effect for the whole house.

Portable air conditioners

As the name suggests, these units can be transported to any corner or spot effortlessly. Portable air conditioners are literally air conditioners on wheels. This type comes in three forms namely the split, the evaporative and the hose. The split type air conditioner has two units, one indoor and one outdoor. These units are connected by means of flexible pipes. On the other hand, the hose system makes use of air ducts and a condenser. Air is drawn from the room, dehumidified and cooled. Evaporative air conditioners, however, does not make use of a compressor or a condenser. Nonetheless, the system works by using liquid water and releasing it as vapor.

Global Warming And The Significance Effects

Global Warming And The Significance Effects By: Frank Maseko

The consequences of global warming are far-reaching. One of the most devastating effects of global warming is that, as the ocean water warms, it impacts tropical storms. Hurricanes that would have been category 3 storms in past years are now category 4 or above. This is because they are energized when they pick up the warmer ocean water.

Viscous storms have risen due to global warming. Five of these storms reached the force of category 4 hurricanes. Four of them actually became worse, at category five. Hurricane Katrina made a terrible mark on history in August of 2005. It became the costliest hurricane in American history. It was also one of most lethal. Global warming has left destruction in the form of more intense hurricanes.

Global warming has the potential to make the earth a very inhospitable place to live. Rising temperatures in the oceans' waters are a clear indication that the process has begun. With the melting of ice in the glaciers, icecaps, and on the sea, it is only a matter of time before global warming has much more harmful effects. It is up to the people of the world to do what they can to make the future look brighter.

Books that support or deny the concept of global warming

Probably the most well-known book on global warming is Al Gore's book An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It. Gore's book shows reasons why people wan to save he earth from hazards such as global warming. It also implores world leaders to stands up and listens to the warnings of an environment in crisis.

The Down To Earth Guide To Global Warming, by Laurie David and Cambria Gordon, is another book that uses a bit of humor to discuss a serious subject. It not only has facts about the genesis of extreme global warming, but it is full of vivid pictures. As another book for elementary children, it gives ways for kids to fight global warming in every area of their lives.

A fun and interesting book on the subject of global warming is The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook: 77 Essential Skills to Stop Climate Change. David de Rothschild, the author, constructed the book to be a tongue-in-cheek look at a survival guide aimed at surviving global warming. At the same time, it offers important information about ways to improve the environment. It is a companion book to the Live Earth Concerts in July of 2007 that took place during a 24-hour period around the world.

By: Frank Maseko

What Is Global Warming

Global warming is a term used to describe a gradual increase in the earth’s average ground and atmospheric temperatures across the whole planet. Measurements indicate that the global temperature has increased by about 1 degree Fahrenheit in the past century.

This warming trend appeared during a period when human activities were beginning to increase the carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Although most scientists believe that a rise in carbon dioxide emissions will lead to further global warming, uncertainties remain about the timing and severity of resulting climatic change. Nevertheless, many are convinced that human activities are partly responsible for the long-term warming of the past century and that climatic changes caused by greenhouse gas increases will be a continuing part of our future. They believe there is enough evidence to warrant a sensible approach toward minimizing the potential consequences of global warming.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a panel of 2,000 scientists convened by the United Nations’ Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization, determined that even if we take steps now to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases, the globe could warm up at a rate faster than it has in the past 10,000 years.