1)Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions in Japan
Colby- Sustainable Development
The goals of this case were for Japan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. During the 1940s Japan was reliant mostly on coal for energy, but as the price of petroleum decreased they became more reliant on petroleum for energy. The production of energy from both coal and petroleum creates greenhouse gases. In the 60s Japan set a goal to lower the sulfur content in their oil. In the 70s Japan began to implement environmental laws to combat the oil shortage of 1973, which was expected to slow the economy, but actually did the opposite. Japan continued to increase regulation throughout the 1980s and their economy continued to grow despite their search for alternative energy sources. Japan has strong economic growth from 1980-1991, “which coincided with the implementation of strict environmental protection laws and energy conservation programs.”
2)Husk Power Systems, India
Renewable Energy Focus
Husk Power was founded by 4 people, 3 from Bihar, India and one from the United States. Bihar is one of the most poorly served areas in India when it comes to electricity. Husk Power came up with the idea of providing reliable energy to Bihar by using rice husks as a source of energy. As of 2011, Husk Power operated 65 plants to gasify rice husks, which provided electricity to 180,000 people throughout India. After 400 people agree to a small monthly fee for the electricity services Husk opens up new plants in those areas. Husk hopes to have more than 2,000 plants up and running by 2014.
3)Cases one and two are very different, because they both deal with regions of different economic power. The Japan case can be easily related to my industrial home of New York, while the India case cannot. The case in Japan can easily be related to the problems that we are having in the United States, because we are amidst an environmental debate in our country. Japan proved that increasing environmental protection laws does not necessarily hurt the economy; in fact it proved the exact opposite. The environmental laws set forth in Japan in the 1980s can not be easily related to the problems faced in India, because the problem in India is not finding a more environmentally friendly energy source, it is finding a reliable energy source that creates the least amount of waste with the resources that they already have available. The case in India is not easily applicable to the United States because we are, economically, at the same level as Japan.
1-a) My hometown of Farmingdale on Long Island is fortunate because our water is from local wells. All water provided for the district of South Farmingdale is groundwater that is pumped from 11 wells located throughput the community. These wells are drilled into the Magothy aquifer beneath Long Island. From well to home there is only one process that the water undergoes. The pH of the water is adjusted to reduce corrosive action between the water and water mains and in house plumbing systems. At the same location the water is also treated to remove iron, which does not affect health, but can discolor the water. The district also adds a small amount of chlorine as a disinfecting agent. Luckily the quality of the water on Long Island is usually graded great to excellent, so the water does not require much treatment.
1-b) According to the USGS website I used approximately 115 gallons of water the day that I kept track of my water intake. A 10 minute shower and running the dishwasher once accounted for most of my water use.
1-c) I tend to drink a lot of water throughout the day, so I would prioritize having enough water to consume if I were to use only 2 gallons of water for a day. Some strategies that definitely cut down my water use was taking a much shorter shower, I tried to shower in less than 2 minutes. I most definitely failed at the experiment of living on 2 gallons of water per day, mostly because water is constantly available. I consume roughly one gallon of water per day, and between cooking and showering I was already well above the 2 gallon threshold. Geography matters quite a bit when it comes to water consumption, because in the United States we have water almost constantly running in our homes, whether it’s toilets, showers, dishwashers, or swimming pools.
Question #1 response:
I believe it is more important to be a good person than it is to perform good acts. In my brief experiences in life I have known quite a few people that I wouldn’t categorize as good people, but who do good acts. Some of these people donate to charity, attend church regularly and even employ hundreds of people, but deep down they are not caring individuals. In certain cases a good person can be forced or required to perform a bad act, but that does not necessarily make them a bad person, just as a bad person doing a good act doesn’t make them a good person. My experiences have taught me that good people generally perform good acts more often then “bad” people. What is difficult is determining the criteria by which we determine if people are good or bad. I would say that a good person is someone who cares for others ahead of themselves and would go out of their way to take care of someone even if there is nothing in it for himself or herself.
Question #2 response:
Just as with many of these ethical questions there is quite a bit of grey area in this question, but I believe that generally the ends justify the means. The clearest example of ends justifying the means is in government. The president and many members of the government are often faced with making life and death decisions. One very tough ethical dilemma is whether or not to bomb terrorists, knowing that innocent civilians could possibly be injured or killed. In this situation law makers and government officials have to decide if doing so would save American lives. That decision is the ends justifying the means. If by killing a terrorist and possibly 5 civilians the president can save hundreds or even thousands of lives, then the president is likely to make that decision. Most decisions don’t require life or death decisions, but sometimes negative actions are necessary for the betterment of a situation for the most people.
Question #4 response:
I believe that ecosystems only matter to the extent that they impact humans. This may be a pessimistic view, but the only reason that we care about ecosystems is because of the effect that they have on humans. For example, we care about the over consumption of certain fish, such as tilapia and salmon because these fish are vital to the ecosystem that effects bigger fish like tuna. The problem with this is that humans are the cause of the changes in these ecosystems. Sustainability of certain materials only matters to us because we need them to survive as a species. Finding a sustainable, clean energy source is important because if we continue burning fossil fuels the environment will change and humans will no longer be able to survive, not because it effects other ecosystems that humans are not concerned with.
The core idea of my Biogas diagram is that all of the key components are connected. The human ecosystem and the natural ecosystem work together to create a clean energy source for rural villages in India.
My diagram is similar to Figure 1.5 in the Marten reading because they both deal with the issue of scarcity of resources and how the biogas plant provides an ever renewable resource to a community in need. Similarities include The population decline in rural areas, compost being used as fertilizer for crops, animal dung being used as fuel in the biogas plant and many others. A difference between my diagram and the one in the reading is the one in the reading lacks the impact that selling fertilizer to farmers has on the women that sell the fertilizer. The reason for these similarities and differences is because the reading is dealing with a general situation where as my diagram is dealing with a specific case.
By comparing the two diagrams we can learn that any village that requires the use of a biogas plant will have the same basic structure, but in each individual case the biogas plant may have different effects on the components of the village itself, such as the people or the crops.
Hi everyone! My name is Steven DeAngelis and I am a senior studying Telecommunications. I currently live in State College, but I am originally from Farmingdale, New York on Long Island. After graduation I hope to work for a company in New York City called Situation Interactive as a Media Strategy intern. I currently have no idea what career I want to pursue, but I hope to get my foot in the door at a media company and see where life takes me. I am interested in this course because I have never taken a geography course in college, so I hope to learn something new. When I’m not working on my studies I love to play and watch sports, specifically baseball (Let’s Go Mets!). I also am currently working on a TV show here at Penn State for PSNtv where I am a writer and producer.
While reading the information in the first module the issue of interactions between humans and the world stuck out to me. We all know about global warming, but we are not sure how this affects the world we live in and the future of the world. I think that studying the Environment and Society Geography section of this course coupled with the Human Geography section will provide a lot more insight into the topic. Having grown up just 30 minutes outside the greatest city in the world (Sorry, Philly residents), I have always been fascinated by the sheer amount of people that live and work in New York City and studying how these societies popped up around the world is very intriguing.