And for anyone who owns a Volkswagen (see the article for the models, I think most of them are 2009 or more recent) you have a pretty significant sum of money that will be available to you, I'd recommend looking into this.
An important quote from Pope Francis in Laudato Si, and something to keep in mind on earth day and every day.
Earth day resolution 1: stop shaving my face in the shower. Although it's nice to shave in the warm water this is pretty wasteful and really doesn't save me any time anyway. It may seem like running out of fresh water isn't a concern, but if we deplete the aquifers faster than they replenish we will have serious issues in the future.
There are lots of ways to conserve resources, it can be as simple as shutting off the water while you brush your teeth or turning off lights and TVs when you leave a room. Or it could be more involved, such as replacing light bulbs with LEDs or taking more care to recycle everything that is able to be recycled.
We should all make earth day more meaningful by reflecting on our resource use and taking steps to reduce it.
that would be cool, completely agree!
The chatter of gossip distracts us from the really big story, the Anthropocene: the new geological era we are bringing about. Pay attention for a minute. Most of the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef system, now looks like a ghostly graveyard.
Most corals are colonies of tiny genetically identical animals called polyps. Over centuries, their skeletons build up reefs, which are havens for many kinds of sea life. Some coral polyps can catch their own food using stingers. But most get their food by symbiosis! They cooperate with algae called zooxanthellae. These algae get energy from the sun's light. They actually live inside the polyps, and provide them with of their food. Most of the color of a coral reef comes from these zooxanthellae.
For reasons I don't understand, when a polyp gets stressed, it can kick out the zooxanthellae living in it. This happens when the sea water gets too hot. Without the zooxanthellae, the polyp is transparent and the coral's white skeleton is revealed - as you see here. We say the coral is bleached.
After they bleach, the polyps begin to starve. If conditions return to normal fast enough, the zooxanthellae may come back. If they don't, the coral will die.
The Great Barrier Reef, off the northeast coast of Australia, contains over 2,900 reefs and 900 islands. It's huge: 2,300 kilometers long with an area of about 340,000 square kilometers. It can be seen from outer space!
With global warming, this reef has been starting to bleach. Parts of it bleached in 1998 and again in 2002. But this year, with a big El Niño pushing world temperatures to new record highs, is the worst.
Scientists have being flying over the Great Barrier Reef to study the damage, and divers have looked at some of the reefs in detail. Of the 522 reefs surveyed in the northern section, over 80% are severely bleached and less than 1% are not bleached at all. Of 226 reefs surveyed in the central section, 33% are severely bleached and 10% are not bleached. Of 163 reefs in the southern section, 1% are severely bleached and 25% are not bleached.
The top expert on coral reefs in Australia, Terry Hughes, wrote:
“I showed the results of aerial surveys of bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef to my students. And then we wept.”
Some of the bleached reefs may recover. But as oceans continue to warm, the prospects look bleak. The last big El Niño was in 1998. With a lot of hard followup work, scientists showed that in the end, 16% of the world’s corals died in that event.
This year is quite a bit hotter.
So, global warming is not a problem for the future: it's a problem now. It's not good enough to cut carbon emissions eventually. We've got to get serious now.
I need to recommit myself to this. For example, I need to stop flying around to conferences. I've cut back, but I need to do much better. Future generations, living in the damaged world we're creating, will not have much sympathy for our excuses.
Photo by Kim Jacobson, one of the keepers.
- HDRBridge EIT, 2015 - present
- LeMar IndustriesStructural Engineer, 2014 - 2015
- Iowa State UniversityResearch Assistant, 2012 - 2014
- Iowa DOTInspection Intern, 2012 - 2012
- Council Bluffs Public WorksFlood Worker, 2011 - 2011
- Movies and TV: I love all sorts of movies, especially Star Wars and Marvel movies, as well as TV shows like The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, and Agents of Shield.
- Comics: I'm a big Marvel fan and a big fan of comic books and characters in general.
- Animation: I really enjoy animating and making videos. This is time consuming so I don't come out with them too often, but I'll post some occasionally and you can check out my previous ones on my YouTube channel.
- Crafts: I like to make things, whether it be building 3D HeroClix maps or any other random project.
- Video Games: Assassin's Creed is my favorite series, and I enjoy several other games as well.
- Programming: I'm a novice programmer but I have a few projects I like to work on for fun.
- Politics and Environment: I've recently realized that to fix the problems with the government that everyone likes to complain about, we all need to get involved. I'm a big believer in caring for our environment and the power of a few people to make a difference.
- Iowa State UniversityStructural Engineering, 2012 - 2014
- Iowa State UniversityCivil Engineering, 2009 - 2012
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