Tuesday, July 22, 2008

money saving cars

Everyone asks, how are we going to help the environment by using less gas in our cars? There is a solution. Buying a hybrid car reduces fuel emissions as well as saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. How a hybrid car works is plain simple. If you are braking or your car is at a halt the electric battery powers the car. It also boosts the acceleration process. This saves the fuel you have to spend in traffic jams or streetlights. The Toyota Prius is a Hybrid at around 50mpg. It costs around $24,000-$25,000. In my perspective the car is but ugly. Of course there are other options like the Honda Fit and the Honda Civic are low cost hybrids that look cool. They clock at around 37-43mpg. If you cant afford these new lines of hybrids then take a look at the non hybrid Honda Civic. Priced at around $19,000 this car is inexpensive, sleek with top of the line reviews from the consumer reports magazine. It also has a nice mpg at around 34, though not as good as the Prius, it still saves a lot of fuel. By the way my mom owns a Honda Civic and she raves about it. She says it saves her $$$$ everyday, and with rising fuel prices that's a big plus. It has five-star safety ratings and a lot of space. I am thinking about making a science fair project about hybrid cars.....hmmmm.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

New York Times

Today I read an interesting article on the Sunday New York Times. "Some carbon with your kiwi?" talks about how much carbon emissions go into providing our food. For example, half of Europe's peas are grown in Kenya. Shipping Groceries all over the world has a major environmental effect. The EU will have an emissions program by 2012 meaning permits will have to be issued to shipping boats and airplanes for the pollution they emit. In Loire Valley, France, the carbon emissions produced for 1 bottle of wine can be staggering. 210 grams of carbon emissions to cultivate the grapes. 109 grams for the fermentation process. In the winery, 132 grams per bottle from the cooling tanks and pumps. Glass for bottles creates 473 grams of carbon emissions. Finally, 447 of carbon emissions are needed to ship 1 bottle around the world. This comes to a total of 1,371 carbon emissions produced for only 1 bottle of wine! This number doubles for wine made in Napa Valley, California. Scientists still debate the EU program today. Would you rather give up some economic productivity in the shipping business to control and reduce emissions?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

how to become green

Problems from UV radiation like premature aging and skin cancer will only worsen as the ozone layer thins. Global Warming will melt the polar ice caps, disrupting oceanic cycles all over the world causing extreme weather patterns similar to el nino. Coral reefs will die and many aquatic species will die from the growing temperature of the water. Many lowlands in the world will be buried and water. If Global Warming and ozone layer thinning continues, the natural cycles of nature will be disrupted, causing many problems. Going green is one of the many solutions needed to stop Global Warming. These tips for going green are from the New York Times Magazine:

  • Carpooling or using hydrogen or electric powered cars to reduce air pollution.
  • Biking to work uses no fuel or creates pollution.
  • Building roof gardens not just cut food costs, they clean the air, reduce the stress on sewers, and they can cut heating and conditioning costs.
  • Using solar panels to provide energy for your home reduces the pollution your house makes, and can make you some extra cash with the leftover energy by selling it to an electric company.
  • Using cotton diapers prevent extra plastic from going into our landfills.
  • Drying your clothes on a clothes hanger conserves water and electricity, reducing your human footprint.
  • Taking less time in your shower will also conserve water.
  • Using energy efficient bulbs and double pane windows cut down electricity and heating costs.
  • Making sure to turn off unnecessary lights also cuts down the use of electricity.
  • Buy recycled paper, and make sure to recycle plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and paper.
  • Don't buy aerosols with CFC's in them.

Breaking NEWS!

Narwhals are now also threatened by global warming. Global Warming is caused by Carbon Dioxide, Smog, Nitrous Oxide, Methane, and Carbon Monoxide. As it rises into the Stratosphere, it traps heat energy from the sun. This gradually warms up the planet. This shouldn't be confused with ozone thinning. When CFC's enter the atmosphere, they can remain for years! In the stratosphere, UV radiation hits the CFC atom, and part of it detaches. That is a chlorine atom. When a chlorine atom hits C3, it attracts oxygen atoms to it. The Ozone is now turned into O2 which is Oxygen. A chlorine atom has a stronger attraction to Oxygen than regular oxygen atoms. Once more Ozone is depleted, then more UV radiation can enter the atmosphere and strike earth, causing adverse health effects. Also, in Chicago, a plan to reduce global warming could backfire. Many scientists believe that releasing Sulfur compounds in the air would react with the chlorine in the air, further depleting the ozone layer. Scientists are also saying that ozone thinning outside of the Antarctic has stopped since 1997! Ozone levels should return to normal by 2068 if the recovery keeps up.

Friday, April 25, 2008

First Post

My name is Conor. I like to study environmental issues in the world. I also like studying astronomy, geology, and health problems. In sixth grade, my teacher presented me with a problem based learning project that inspired me to study enviromental issues. I was to find a problem on our planet, and try to fix it. I choose to try to ban leaf blowers in my state of Arizona. After researching the topic heavily, I made a science board listing facts about the damage leaf blowers do to our environment. Did you know that 1 leaf blower releases 17 cars worth of smog in 1 hour? I also made a petition trying ban leaf blowers. 203 people signed my petition. Then, I sent it to gov Janet Napolitano. In the legistation, there was a clean air bill trying to be ratified. What good timing! Janet Napolitano passed the bill, and also banned leaf blowers in it as well. She sent me a copy of the bill and an autographed poster she signed of Arizona! In 7th grade, I won our school's science fair for inventing a pair of gloves that would help carpel tunnel syndrome sufferers type. I also made a flyer about the dangers of UV radiation, and how people could prevent those dangers. Other accomplishments were making a 26 page travel guide which I will post to this website later this year. Next, I plan to make a flyer stating the benefits of using solar energy for homes.