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"One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time." Carl Sagan

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Home is where the heat is...
David Suzuki's Green Guide

David Suzuki's Green Guide
By David Suzuki, David R. Boyd

The lowly SUV has taken a lot of abuse regarding the ecological damage it is responsible for however there is a worse culprit. The warm and fuzzy "home is where the heart is" has done its share of damage over the years. The average home in a western type society puts out twice the greenhouse gas emissions as an SUV. The house sizes have increased from around 1000 square feet in 1950 to 2500 plus square feet in 2005. When houses are considered a smaller size means less material to build, maintain and operate and less room for collecting tons of nick-knacks. -sak

4:39 pm est 

Friday, November 21, 2008

How to save the planet...
David Suzuki's Green Guide

David Suzuki's Green Guide
By David Suzuki, David R. Boyd

A more optimistic guide to the ecological nightmare and what we can do as individuals to help. The book starts with showing us how we are all dependent on nature for survival. We need nature to provide us food, water, air, and space.

A concrete example is presented regarding the honey bee. The honey bee is one of our prime pollinators for plant food on the planet including vegetables, fruits, nuts etc. It has been hypothesized (by Albert Einstein???) that if the honey bee would go extinct that humans would be gone in 2 to 4 years. No honey bees, no plants, no animals....no us!

The book goes on to show how our ecological footprint is too large in North America. Theecological  footprint is the area of useable land that is needed to support each person in a particular country. It ranges from 1 hectare in Africa to 10 hectares in USA. If we are to support an ever increasing population this must be reduced.

The book then follows up with news about technological advances that increase our efficiency in transportation, housing, workplace, and food production. An interesting example was shown that illustrates this nicely. If Ontario Hydro were to buy and give every household in Ontario energy efficient appliances it would be still 10 times cheaper to do this than to spend 16 billion on a new nuclear power plant and because of the reduced energy requirements we wouldn't need the new power plant. -sak
10:24 am est 

Monday, November 10, 2008

Nature Redefining Economics
It's a Matter of Survival

It's a Matter of Survival
By Anita Gordon, David Suzuki

In this next section Economic models get a rude wakeup call from mother nature. The models of the economy developed in a time when for all intents and purposes the Earth's resources were infinite when compared to industry's needs. Now however we have grown to the point that economic activities affect the planet as a whole causing things such as species extinction, air and water pollution, mono-culture, drought, and flooding. It is now evident that new economic models are needed to address the real cost of doing business on the planet. This model should incorporate the cost to the environment and to things such as quality of life, and air quality. These models should stress co-existence with eco-systems that actually support life on the planet by providing us with air, food, and water. An interesting example was brought forth in that a certain type of marine life form was discovered relatively recently that actually is responsible for processing a huge amount of oxygen for the planet. When discoveries like this occur we can't help but doubt many of our models and the predictive power they are capable of. The epitome of flawed economic models is shown when environmental disasters happen that change our eco-system forever like oil spills, flooding due to hydro damns, and wars, the economic models react by showing these events to have increased the prosperity of us all when in reality the prosperity of the planet that supports us has been diminished forever. -sak
3:31 pm est 


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