Katie McGrath ScrapESbook

This is the scrapESbook tackk board for Katie McGrath. Documented here will be articles and experiences that enriched my  learning and understanding of nature.


Air Pollution on the Rise

This article discusses the increase of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. It says that the Obama administration is "losing ground" in its efforts to reduce these emissions. Many believe the recent increase is correlated to the rebounding economy of the US, as there has been a higher demand for burning fuel and oil. Sadly, in American homes the carbon emissions for the first six months of the year were almost 3 percent higher than during the same period last year and almost 6 percent higher than in 2012. This shows a steady increase in carbon release across the US (roughly three percent per year). The pro to this statistic? If it is occurring personally in American homes, Americans have the power to change it. Luckily, not all is bad; according to research the use of solar, wind and hydropower is up more than seven percent from just two years ago. Furthermore, renewable sources now account for roughly twelve percent of the country's domestic energy production. Obama and his team have promised to continue to work on lowering our greenhouse gas emissions, with a target goal by 2020 of emissions seventeen percent lower than  2005. Overall, the current situation is not ideal, but it is a wakeup call that can be solved if dealt with properly and quickly.

Overall, I am very interested in this topic, as it effects me personally now and will continue to do so in the future. It is a shame to me that the greenhouse gas emissions in the US have risen, but I understand it is in part inevitable based on the rebounding economy. Although, some could even say that is a pro, as it is evidence of our rising economy. However, for me, it is more of a con; I view it as us sacrificing nature for material things in the economy. If our emissions are rising, that means we must also raise our efforts to stop air pollution. The article discussed solar, wind, and hydropower energy sources being used. I think these are all wonderful alternatives that can help contain or control air pollution. I hope to learn more abut implementing these methods in my daily life.  While it is true that we cannot, at least at this point in time, fully eliminate the release of greenhouse gasses, we can control and reduce them. Air pollution is one of today's biggest issues, but it doesn't have to be; with the right effort and methods, it can be controlled for ourselves and for future generations. Clean air is a necessity, yes, but it should be thought of more as a privilege. If we do not treat it properly with respect, like a privilege, then we will not be able to obtain our necessity.

'Safe' and Innotvative Pesticides - Good or Bad?

This article discusses the pesticides used in urban farming and their effects. Safer pesticides and legal restrictions on the use of these pesticides has reduced the risk to humans from water, but unfortunately, the potential risk to aquatic life in urban waters has risen. The article references a study in which the United States Geological Survey recorded pesticide levels from 1992 to 2011 at over two hundred points on rivers and streams. Sadly, they found insecticides and herbicides in virtually all of the waterways. However, the results showed a decline in dangers to humans from pesticide pollution. Statistics show that "from 1992 to 2001, 17 percent of agricultural streams and 5 percent of other streams contained at least one pesticide whose average annual concentration was above the maximum contaminant level for drinking water. But in the second decade, from 2002 to 2011, the survey found dangerous pesticide concentrations in only one stream nationwide."  The decline may be because new pesticides that are less toxic or require smaller applications have been used lately. But between sixty and seventy percent of agricultural streams showed pesticide levels for potential harm to aquatic life. research in the article shows that two pesticides, fipronil and dichlorvos, have been recently used in the last decade causing the spike in danger to aquatic life. he article concludes implying that, sadly, this may only be the beginning as not all pesticides were accounted for.

Overall, I think these statistics are very frightening. I understand that pesticides are for human benefit and that these more innovative and newer ones are better for human health. Having said that though, I cannot help but wonder about the future. If we continue to harm our aquatic life, what will happen to it? What will happen to us? I think of the food chains we talked about in class and how changing one thing in an ecosystem can upset the whole food chain and ecosystem itself. We rely greatly on aquatic life to keep the status-quo in the ecosystems that surround us. In essence, when we harm our aquatic life, we harm ourselves in the long run. The only pro I see discussed in the article is that these pesticides are safer for humans; I cannot decide if it is enough to outweigh the cons raised in the article - specifically the harm to our aquatic life. Unfortunately, I do not see a clear solution to this problem. It seems as if it is a lose-lose situation. We either harm ourselves, or we harm the aquatic life - which in turn harms us too. I hope that scientists will be able to develop a pesticide that is a happy medium, one that harms neither human nor aquatic life. If not, I am worried for our future ecosystems, specifically our aquatic ones.

Deforestation Scandal Shocks the World

This article covers a scandal in which about 400 villagers in Mbalachanda-Mzimba were employed in an illegal deforestation business by unknown foreigners who were looking for special trees  to make guns in their countries. According to Group Village Headman Botha, alleged factories in Maputo, Mozambique and Lusaka-Zambia  are in need of special trees ,which are found in Malawi, to make their guns. In order to complete this task, hundreds of men and women were illegally employed and illegally cutting down tress (often undetected at night) and/or violating the deforestation laws in affect here.  Botha has asked the government to intervene, begging almost for help. Botha has personally seen how this can lead to violence, as he was mugged with a fellow village member for trying to protect some trees. Luckily,  District Forestry Officer Evans Nyirongo and his office have already confisticated over 10 trucks carrying logs of the special trees.

It honestly breaks my heart that things such as this are occurring in our world. Not only is deforestation terrible, but the manner in which it was being done here is equally as awful. The pros to this? Absolutely none. I truly cannot see a time or situation where this can be viewed in a positive light. The only upside I see to this whole situation is that it has been exposed ,and now people can work to stop it, as discussed briefly in the article. The cons to this? Too many to count. For one, deforestation is awful for our environment and in turn for ourselves. We need trees to sustain the environment through their release of oxygen, their housing abilities for small animals, and their fruits which animals and humans alike eat. Secondly, the illegality of the employment and exploitation shown here is truly terrible. I hope that this issue can be rectified as soon as possible. If not, I truly fear for the African ecosystems and futures.  I also wonder what other things are going on behind the scenes if this went on for so long. I hope nothing else is happening, but the sad truth is there is a good possibility other dangerous and illegal acts are occurring here. I hope if they are, they can be stopped.

Drilling for Oil - Crude and Rude

This article was on the shorter side, but it was direct and to the point. In summary, a  ConocoPhillips Co. tanker ship full of crude oil is on its way to South Korea from Alaska; this is the first oil export from Alaska in a decade. According to Alaska Dispatch News, "Alaska's North Slope region has been exempt from the overall ban on nearly all crude oil exports since 1996, but no shipments have left since 2004." It is reported that the oil is on ConocoPhillips' Polar Discovery and due to arrive Oct. 10 in Yeosu, which houses the fourth largest oil refinery in the world. The oil company did not provide further details of the transaction, saying that future shipments would hinge on market conditions and tanker availability. This has received some positive feedback from  Alaskan Sen. Lisa Murkowski - who is the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. She stated, "I am encouraged to see Alaska increasing its participation in global oil markets," she said in a statement. "It's my hope that lower 48 oil will soon follow suit." Murkowski said that between 1996 and 2004, oil was exported from Alaska to China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, corroborating the News' report.

Overall, I am torn on this topic. I do not like the idea of drilling for oil, fracking, etc., especially on US ground. I must admit I do see a slight con in this however; selling oil could be potentially beneficial to the United State's economy, specifically Alaska's economy, but at what cost? We can only drill so long before we are out of oil and left with desolate and destroyed lands. Is it worth sacrificing our land and natural resources for the possibility of a slight economic benefit? Not to be negative, but I hardly think selling our Alaskan oil would reduce the US deficit in even a slight way, let alone a significant enough to risk our land. I see where others like Sen. Murkowski are coming from, but I cannot bring myself to fully agree with them. In this case, I think the cons outweigh the pros. We should not make a habit of sacrificing our land and resources, especially ones so delicate and irreplacable as the crude oil we have in Alaska and other US areas. It is true that oil is a necessity in our lives, but we must conserve and share to ensure its availability for future generations, not sell it to the highest bidder.

Is a Safe Solution to Nuclear Waste on the Horizon?

This article reports on an independent expert group that has been trying to dismiss fears that Ontario Power Generation's plan to bury nuclear waste near Lake Huron would threaten the Great Lakes. Many local residents initially objected this plan, as they were worried for their own health and safety as well as that of the Great Lakes. At the time of publication of this article the final hearings were set for the company's plan "to bury up to 20,000 cubic meters of lowland intermediate waste at the bottom of a deep shaft at the bruce nuclear power plant on the shores of Lake Huron." By now the hearings will have concluded, but the article does not contain the results as it was published before the trial's conclusion. The article continues to say that "after hearings last year, the federal review panel ordered OPG to hire an independent group of experts to review the relative risks of four scenarios: maintaining the current practice of storing the waste at ground level; building a "hardened" facility at surface; burning it 680 metres below ground in impermeable rock under the site; or locating an underground storage repository at some undetermined location in the granite of the Canadian Shield." Many critics are opposing this because it could potentially jeopardize the drinking water for over 40 million people. However, the independent experts group concluded the lakeside site posed virtually no threat of contamination to the lake, while, surprisingly, moving the waste to a more remote location would be riskier on the premise of an accident during transportation or handling. Frighteningly enough a former OPG chemist, Frank Greening, has pointed to a number of errors that OPG made in its safety cases, casting doubt on the safety of the process and decision.

Overall, I am very concerned about this issue. It deeply worries me that we don't have a definite answer; some say it is safe while others insist it is danger. Who is correct? Who do we trust? Do we bury it or move it? I guess a pro to this is that people are at least trying to deal with our nuclear waste- maybe they aren't completely successful but at least they are trying to make progress. A con to this? We do not have a solution at the moment and so far these efforts have proved somewhat inconclusive as the results and opinions are so varied.  I really do worry about the nuclear waste being so close to the Lake Huron. i am worried the water could be contaminated, harming the aquatic life there as well as the overall ecosystems surrounding that lake and the other Great Lakes. As discussed in the article, it is a drinking water source for over 40 million people; contaminating that water would be astronomically lethal. Furthermore damaged ecosystems there would effect us as well; industries such as fishing would be severely damaged by this. Having said this, I do not know enough to propose a new solution. I do not like what the current situation is, but i cannot think of how to improve it at this point in time. I really hope people who are experts in this area can come up with a solution that is safe for all, and soon!


SpOILer Alert- There's an Oil Spill in Israel!

This article discusses a pipeline breach, the Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline, near the Israel-Jordan border, which has flooded the Evrona nature reserve. It is said to be one of Israel's worst environmental disasters, and it is causing large amounts of potentially poisonous gas to be released. Experts are predicting that this could take years of hard work and money to clean up. It is estimated that millions of liters of oil was spilled, threatening the lives of the large gazelle population near the reserve, as well the overall surrounding ecosystem.  Environment Ministry representative Guy Samet is calling this one of Israel's gravest solution events to date. The cause of the spill is still being investigated, but many believe it occurred in relation to the new international airport that is currently being built just miles from the spill. Now that the spill has been contained, hundreds of EAPC workers, along with firefighters and volunteers have been working tirelessly to clean up the mess, but unfortunately they've got years ahead of them.

It is very upsetting to hear about yet another oil spill. Oil is one of our world's greatest natural resources, and also one with a very high demand. It is horrible to think of how much oil was wasted or lost in this tragic event. But even worse is the effects on the environment. The oil and gasses released can do irreparable damage to the ecosystem of Southern Israel. The article discusses specifically the gazelle population, but there is so much more too it. The air, plants, soil, other animals, and people are all at risk too. Ting we discussed in class, like genetic diversity, are being seriously threatened by this spill. It is heartbreaking to hear about, but it is the unfortunate and sad truth. Personally, I think the spill is being dealt with as best as possible and generally agree with the process.  There really is no great way to handle a situation like this, except to learn from it. I truly hope the EAPC and other companies can learn from this to avoid future tragedies like this one.  As of right now, the people of Southern Israel are just trying to clean up and move forward; it won't be easy, but I believe that is their best option.

Malaria Falls - Hope Rises

This article was long but yet somewhat repetitive; it discusses the UN report on the recent fall in malaria cases globally, but specifically in Ebola-affected countries According to the report, the number of people infected fell from 173 million in 2000 to 128 million in 2013. The report also shows that between 2000 and 2013, access to insecticide-treated bed nets increased substantially. In theory, our efforts to contain and eliminate malaria are working. Unfortunately, the report also noted the Ebola outbreak in the West African countries most affected by the disease has had a devastating impact on malaria treatment; the efforts there have been seriously injured. There has also been a dramatic decreases in juvenile deaths due to Malaria, a very positive result. In summary, the article says that malaria is on its way out, but we must continue our efforts to help; it will mot disappear on its own.

Overall, I am very pleased to hear what the article says. It is wonderful news that the end of the long battle with malaria may be in sight. It is also good news that while Ebola may have hindered this success, it did not stop it. It was a minor setback, but nothing unbeatable. I fully agree with the report's assertions that we must not stop fighting. While these improvements are wonderful, it is not over yet. I was surprised to see that the population increase and the malaria decrease were not affected by each other; this is just great proof that the efforts are working. I hope to see and end to malaria within the next ten to fifteen years, a stretch I know; but, I truly believe if everyone pitches in to help we can beat malaria once and for all. And who knows, maybe after we tackle malaria we can tackle Ebola (although that has seemed to have already settled down, it is not gone forever) next.

Undersea Explor-ocean!

I was researching statistics on the Science Daily Website for my rhetoric debate, when I came across this interesting article about newly discovered ocean land. I found it very interesting and thought I would share it. According to the article, scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have changed the model of the map of the ocean floor. It's claimed to be twice as accurate as the old ones; it also shows several features of the ocean floor in much clearer and sharper detail. Their work is not over yet, however. They plan to continue their research in hopes of continuing to improve their accuracy of this. It is suspected that satellites may be used, as well as other forms of advanced technology.

I'm very glad to hear that more research is being done in relation to oceans. As much as 80% of the ocean is unexplored or unknown; for me, that is 80% too much. The oceans have always been extremely fascinating to me ever since I was a little girl. I would love to know more about them, and hope that researches such as these can help me with that. I think the ocean is the new frontier of science. There is so much to learn and appreciate from the ocean; I am very excited to see where future research could lead!

USA: Studying up on the Arctic Ecosystem

This article is about a marine arctic ecosystem study being done in the United States.  Stantec has been selected by an interagency scientific review panel to lead a long-term scientific study of the Arctic marine ecosystem along the Beaufort Sea shelf from Barrow, Alaska to the Mackenzie River delta in Canadian waters. Stantec will gather a team of environmental and social scientists and managers from the United States and Canadian operations. Researchers say that the health of the Arctic region ecosystem has immediate as well as long term and far reaching impacts. The hope is that the results of this work will strengthen the foundation on which a multitude of generational decisions will be based. The team will be looking to significantly expand our knowledge of the Beaufort Sea ecosystem to inform our decision-making.

I think this is an awesome idea. As I said in an earlier article, I am fascinated by the ocean. I believe ocean exploration is vastly important in today's science-world. But, the marine life around the ocean is just as important as the life in it. Studying the arctic circle ecosystem as a whole is bound to yield wild results. I believe that the arctic circle is unique in its climate and wildlife, making this study extremely unique itself. I hope the scientists and team members are able to take away nothing less that great results and findings from this study. I also hope the result will be published somewhere accessible, because I would load to read them!

Big Bucks for Biofuel

This article is about the Department of Energy and the roughly $25 million being set aside for biofuel engineering; its goal to reduce the cost of biofuels to less than $5 per gasoline gallon equivalent by 2019. Algae biomass can be converted to advanced biofuels as alternatives to petroleum-based diesel and jet fuels. Unfortunately, barriers related to algae cultivation, harvesting, and conversion to fuels and products need to be overcome to achieve the Department's target of $3 per gge for advanced algal biofuels by 2030. To accomplish this goal, the Department is investing in applied research and development technologies.The funding will support projects in two topic areas: Topic Area 1 awards $5-$10 million to focus on the development of algae cultures that produce valuable bio-products that increase the overall value of the biomass. Topic Area 2 awards will range from $0.5-$1 million to focus on the development of crop protection or carbon dioxide utilization technologies to boost biomass productivity. The article concludes with a list of previous accomplishments, all which point to future success in this subject.

This article was particularly interesting for me because I had no idea algae was so valuable. I thought it was just something pretty to look at in the ponds by my house. I was  blown away by the wide range of uses the plant has. At first, I thought $25 million was a ridiculous amount of money to spend on any project, but I have decided this is a good thing and well worth the money. If it can reduce petroleum-based diesel and the pollutions that come with it, not once cent is wasted. I am still a little confused at how the whole process works, and I will definitely do future research to understand it more fully. But in general, this seems like a great step forward for our environment, which in turn is a great step forward for us!

Quarter 3

Animals Fight Back

This article is about animal activists fighting for animal rights in Europe, specifically England. The article talks about the Criminal Code Amendment (Animal Protection) Bill 2015, which will reduce "malicious cruelty to animals" and also protect lawfully operating animal enterprises. The bill will contain a five-year jail term for an offense that results in  damage exceeding $10,000. The bill also says that any offense which results in substantial bodily injury or damage exceeding $100,000 will carry a 10-year term in jail;  an offense which results in serious bodily injury or damage exceeding $1 million will carry 20 years jail. Furthermore, life imprisonment is also proposed for an offense which results in the death of any individual. This bill also protects animal enterprises, like domestic companies, for example. The provisions of the bill that discuss economic damage are in anticipation of the vandalism often seen at companies that involve animals. It is basically protecting any enterprise from activist demonstrations. However, the bill, as early stated, will protect animals from mistreatment and injustices.

I am torn on this matter. I really like that this bill will be protecting animals, but I wish int went into more detail las to how the animals will be helped. As for the other part of the bill, I am not too sure... I understand that businesses should be protected from vandalism, but I also think that activists have a right to be seen and heard. I hope that this will not discourage activists from studying up for the animals, who do not have a voice of their own. I am afraid that this will escalate and infringe on the right of activists in the future. I also worry about the bill protecting illegitimate companies. What if these companies are abusing the animals? If there are not activists to draw attention to the issue, how will the public know? How will the animals stand up for themselves? I understand the bill and its purpose and its implementation, I am just not too sure that it will be as effective as hoped for.

'False Pause' in Oceanic Warming

Many people, and scientists, have been observing and commenting on a recent slow down in global warming. According to this article, the recent slowdown is actually due to natural oscillations in the climate. The oscillations discussed are between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, although oscillations can occur in any ocean or very large body of water. The climate scientists have said that these oscillations are completely natural. They have also stated that these oscillations represent variability internal to the climate system. In other words, this is to be expected an accounts for the "pause" in warming. Unfortunately, they do not signal any slowdown in human-caused global warming. In other words, we have to keep working because we have not yet found the solution.

I am very interested in this because I love learning about the ocean; I find it very fascinating. I would like to learn more about oscillations, because I am not sure exactly what they are and the article did not go into great detail explaining them. I think it is very cool that the world can natural slow down or change its own climate. However, the article did point out that this means human efforts to combat climate change have been very ineffective. I wish that as humans we could have seen more success in this area by now, but this just means we have to work harder. However, there is one positive to this sad news: now that we can see that our efforts are not enough, we know to put in more . I believe we cannot stop until we have solved or severely reversed climate change.

Madagascar: Trouble in Paradise

The chytrid fungus, which is fatal to amphibians, has been detected in Madagascar for the first time. This means that the chytridiomycosis pandemic, which has been largely responsible for the decimation of the salamander, frog and toad populations in the USA, Central America and Australia, has now reached a biodiversity hotspot. Madagascar is home to around 290 species of amphibians that are not found anywhere else in the world. Another 200 frog species that have not yet been classified are also thought to live on the island. This pandemic threatens all of these amphibians. The article discussed researchers from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research  and TU Braunschweig. Together with international colleagues, these scientists are proposing an emergency plan. Their plan will include monitoring the spread of the pathogenic fungus, building amphibian breeding stations, and developing probiotic treatments.

This article was very eye-opening but also a little frightening. It is very scary that one single fungus can threaten the lives not just of so many amphibians but so many species of amphibians. For all we know, these amphibians could become endangered (if they are not already) in the near future due to this fungus. It is however, very interesting that a fungus can "travel". It begs the question though, how did the fungus get there? Will it travel to other countries, islands, or continents? So much is unknown about the new development of this pandemic, it is hard to say what will happen next. One thing is for sure, while the future is unclear, it is clear that we must protect these amphibians in any way that we can.

Wheat Production in Danger

According to research published in Genome Biology, the spread of exotic and aggressive strains of a plant fungus is presenting a serious threat to wheat production in the UK.This is a huge problem because wheat is a "critical staple and provides 20% of the calories and over 25% of the protein consumed by humans". 'Yellow rust' caused by the fungus Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (PST) is one of the plant's major diseases; infections lead to significant reductions in both grain quality and yield, with some rare events leading to the loss of an entire crop. New fungus strains have recently emerged that adapt to warmer temperatures, are more aggressive, and have overcome many of the major defensive genes in wheat. This means that the crops are at a greater risk than ever before. The article also discusses how research uses a new surveillance technique that could be applied internationally to respond to the spread of a wide variety of plant diseases. By "rapidly pinpointing a fungus's genetic make-up from field samples" this technique is able to "confirm outbreaks on particular wheat varieties and provides an efficient means of confirming whether previously resistant wheat varieties have been broken by virulent strains of the pathogen." In essence, the new techniques will be much more effective.

Overall, this article interests me because I have family members living in the UK. I genuinely wonder how this will effect their eating habits, grocery shopping, etc. This is also worrisome, because for all we know, this could occur in the United States as well, especially in the Midwest! I am glad, however, that research has found new techniques to combat this fungus and its newer strains. It is also very interesting to see how evolution takes place here. The wheat evolved defensive genes to combat this fungus, and in return the fungus evolved itself to be stronger and to adapt to the defensive mechanisms exhibited by the wheat. It reminds me of when we studied evolution in class, except it combines with our newest chapter on agriculture! Super interesting and relevant!

WINDing up Power in Illinois

According the this article, Illinois has grown to be the 4th largest state for wind energy; with continued growth it is estimated that the carbon pollution from coal plats could be seriously reduced if not eliminated completely. According to the advocacy group Environment Illinois, continued development would allow wind energy to provide roughly 30 percent of the nation's electricity by 2030.Expert Kevin Borgia, public policy manager of planning group Wind on the Wire, tells us that those numbers would provide enough carbon reductions to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed Clean Power Plan. He also says that wind generation remains one of the cheapest, most rapidly scalable solutions to provide emissions-free power. He also references a study from Illinois State University which found the overall lifetime economic benefit of existing wind farms is nearly $6 billion.Finally, an analysis predicts wind will expand significantly in Illinois over the next 15 years, producing enough power for 6.2 million homes.

I found it very interesting that this article discussed topics in my home state of Illinois. I had no idea wind power was so large here. I think these results are phenomenal. Renewable and smart wind power is just what the state, and the country, needs. The predictions were very surprising, but in a good way. I really hope that these predictions can become a reality, because they really are good news.

Quarter 4

Landsc[r]aping at Marist

During the “tree talk”, I learned a few new and interesting facts. For example, I did not know that trees couldn’t heal themselves; they can only seal. I had always thought that a tree could fix itself, regrow new bark and branches, but this is not the case. I also learned about volcano mulch around the base of a tree and its negative effects. I thought that the more mulch was present the better off a tree would be, but this is false. I learned that the mulch cuts off a tree’s sunlight and photosynthesis process. A third thing I learned about trees was that they are currently in danger in the Chicago-land area. Many types of invasive bug species have been killing and hurting our trees. The city has been tagging trees, like ash trees, but there is only so much that can be done. We must protect our local trees as much as possible.

I definitely think that the new things I learned can be applied to my life. For example, my grandma and I often garden in the spring and summertime. She has a huge garden in her backyard, including many trees. I will be able to help her take care of them this summer, using my new knowledge. Also, when I am older, I plan to have a garden of my own with vegetables, herbs, trees, etc. Learning about the invasive species and things of that nature will help me know what to look for and know how to protect my garden in the future.

Airports Against Climate Change

This article is about the Boston Logan International Airport and its efforts to protect itself from climate change and the effects of nature. Some of the measures include investment in measures like flood doors and the relocation of generators to higher floors. The plan is estimated to cost millions of dollars and take years to fully enact. The plan will also include aspects  to make the airport more environmentally friendly like cutting energy consumption by a quarter by 2020, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by the same year. The plan also decreases water usage, increases composting and seeks to reduce waste generated per passenger by 2 percent a year through 2030.This airport is one of 44 airports that have received grants from the Federal Aviation Administration for initiatives such as this one.

I think the article was very interesting. It made me think of local airports,  like Midway and O'Hare, and their energy efficiency. I would assume that they are fairly well equipped to handle tornadoes and blizzards, but I wonder how efficient they are. Overall, I liked this article. I hope that more airports take the initiative that Boston Logan International has because I think it could be very good for the environment, especially on a such a large scale as airports.

Obama OKs Arctic Circle Drilling

The Obama Administration has granted conditional approval to energy giant Shell to begin oil drilling in the Arctic waters off the coast of Alaska. This would make Shell the only company drilling in federal water. Although Shell will have to meet many regulations and restrictions, environmentalists worry that this will be too detrimental to the Arctic Circle. It is estimated that there is more than 20 billion barrels of oil and 90 trillion cubic feet of natural gas beneath waters near Alaska. However, Obama still has not approved the Keystone Pipeline XL. The White House is  still awaiting a final recommendation from the State Department before approving or denying it. Before drilling, Shell  must obtain permits from various other departments and agencies, including from the Port of Seattle, for example.

This article was surprising to me. Because Obama is so against the Keystone Pipeline, I would assume he is against drilling in the Arctic Circle. I know that there will be restrictions and such, but this worries me greatly. I am afraid will cause too much irreparable damage in these waters by drilling there. I do understand that there is somewhat of an oil crisis in the US, but I see this as a quick fix to a long term problem. This is only a temporary solution, and its effects will last much longer.

Comment Stream

3 years ago

i like your scrapesbook katie!

3 years ago

Great job Katie! Very interesting articles! 50/50

3 years ago

thank you @DaneMayer

3 years ago

2nd Qt = 50/50!!!

2 years ago

3rd Qt = 50/50. Nice job!

2 years ago

I love the "landsc(R)aping" title .... So very clever!! Thanks for a great year, Katie!! 50/50