The following is a response to the article “Showing the Benefits of ‘Green’ Retrofitting” by Julie Satow, which originally appeared in the New York Times Opinion Section. The article begins by explaining how retrofitting has been around for quite some time, and although it’s proven to be beneficial both economically and environmentally, there seems to be a lack of data supporting the practice. This is why the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation is funding a project to create a public database for all retrofitted buildings in New York. According to Gary Hattem, president of the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, data is one of the key aspects that building owners typically look at when trying to improve their buildings, and it’s the lack of data towards retrofitting that is keeping the practice from going mainstream. Developers also agree that the lack of a database is the main obstacle in spreading green technology throughout the country, but they are also confident that this new database will ,hopefully, remove this obstacle.
This is really good news to hear. Knowing that progress is being made to make buildings and businesses of all kinds greener through retrofitting makes me hopeful that America is finally getting on the right track. Although I personally did not connect as much to the article, due to the fact that I do not work at a business nor do I live in a retrofitted home, there are hundreds of other people that it does connect to, which is why it’s important to keep in mind, especially for those who haven’t read the article. Technology such as this has the capability of being expanded to homes and large businesses, which relates to just about every home-owner and business worker there is. The writing of this article sound optimistic towards a big project, which is not something that’s seen too often these days. I also liked how the article was easy to read, and introduced the possibilities of savings in energy, money, and job number increase, which are three of America’s largest problems aside from environmental issues. I think it’s truly a great idea to have a public database promoting the benefits of green technology, and I hope to hear more about the success of this project in the future.
The following is a response to the article “Why Bother?” by Michael Pollan, which originally appeared in the New York Times Opinion Section. Pollan starts his article by asking the question “why bother?” The question is in regards to human behavior towards being environmentally friendly, such as using different light-bulbs and driving less. The article explains how difficult it is to bother with being environmentally friendly when millions of human beings unconsciously commit acts that are against mother earth. Even the most unlikely of actions can cause damage to the environment, such as using a clothes dryer, and eating meat from supermarkets. It goes on to say that the root of the problem, as well as the solution lies mostly on human behavior; however, according to Michael Specter, a writer of a New Yorker piece on carbon footprints, changing human behavior is not enough to put the planet back on the right track. It will also take laws and money to solve the problem. Pollan then explains how “theoretically” a viral social change could sweep the nation into going green; granted that there were those to set an example, and how breaking away from technology and bothering to create a community garden could help not only with the environment, but also with keeping people healthy and in shape.
Why bother? That is such a good question that people need to consider. I for one did bother to read this article, and found hundreds of connections to my life. I am guilty of using cars, using computers in which I was able to write this blog, and even eating ever-so-delicious meat. This doesn’t make me a bad person, but it certainly made me think about the way I run my life, as well as the way everyone else runs their lives. It was these subtle connections to the article that I found both interesting and some-what disturbing. The format that the article was written in was very simple and easy to read. The article was written in a way that related to just about every person in one way or another. It read like it was written by a person who actually cared and knew about what he was writing. I enjoyed how Pollan was able to clearly state the main causes of the problem, and suggest some reasonable solutions to the problem from a stand point that any person could accomplish if they were to set their mind to it. I thought that the suggestion of creating a community garden was a good idea; it would be free, and the exercise from gardening would help prevent obesity and promote healthy living. Overall, this was a very well written article and I encourage those who have not read it to do so.
The following is a response to the article “Breaking Away From Coal” by Clifford Krauss, which originally appeared in the New York Times Opinion section. Krauss starts the article by explaining how several of the coal burning plants of North Carolina are switching to using natural gas generators. The article explains that this is because of the lower prices, and easier maintenance that natural gas has to offer. The sudden decision to switch from coal to gas is also because of the new pollution laws that have been established by North Carolina. According Michael Zenker, a gas analyst at Barclays Capital, coal is losing its advantages both as a suitable energy source, and as an affordable one. Dan Eggers, a Credit Suisse energy analyst goes on to say that the transition from coal to natural gas has the potential to reshape the entire energy consumption rate of the United States, especially with the E.P.A. pressing to lower carbon emissions. Despite this, some investors believe that coal prices can remain low enough to still be efficient, but most people agree that gas plants are more likely to replace coal plants in the coming years.
Every day, I see people using coal in some way or another. Most of the time, people don’t notice because they’ve grown too comfortable with thinking that its a never-ending energy source that has no damaging consequences whatsoever. That’s why I found the article interesting, because it acknowledges the consequences of burning coal from both an environmental and economic perspective. I thought Krauss’s article to be informative and more uplifting than other articles I have read. Unlike so many articles I read in the newspaper, this one pointed out one of the positive things that America is doing to try to better itself. Krauss’s article was also easy to understand from an average person’s perspective. I think that this article relates to everyone who uses coal as their primary source of energy, whether it be in a house, work building, or any other man-made, energy using creation. This also think that this an important issue to keep up on, especially considering the fact that coal accounts for at least fifty percent of the entire country’s energy supply. For those who aren’t good at math, that’s a lot. I feel that this energy transition is an excellent breakthrough for getting the country’s economy and environment back on the right track.
Link to Image:
The following is a response to the article “Searching the Brain for the Roots of Fear” by Joseph Ledoux, which originally appeared in the New York Times Opinion Section. In the article, he tells how science defines fear and anxiety as two separate mental states, although there are few who are able to make the separate distinctions. Scientifically speaking, fear is a negative state that is caused by a presence that has the potential to harm, while anxiety is a negative state that anticipates a threat, and this state can be extremely heightened for humans due to imagination. Recently, scientists have been able to pinpoint the region of the brain that associates with fear and danger; this area is known as the amygdala. This research shines hope to perhaps one day treat those who suffer greatly from anxiety.
At the very beginning of the article, I was immediately able to connect with the example of a fearful experience, which was encountering a potentially dangerous animal while taking a walk in the woods. I take walks in the woods often, and although I personally have never had such an experience, I was able to relate with the passage and understand the point of the article. Since fear is such an unconscious function of the brain, I also became some-what intrigued as to how science is able to physically locate the area in which fear is processed in the mind. Fear is a universal feeling amongst both humans and animals, so the article was relate-able to anyone, however I struggled to fully understand some of the concepts with defining areas of the brain. I felt that Ledoux’s article was very informative and had a good scientific background, especially around those who suffer greatly from issues associated with fear. Although I found it interesting that scientists are now able to figure out the functions of the brain when it comes to fear, I felt that the issue of anxiety disorders was a little over-exaggerated. Despite this, I truly believe that figuring out the functions of the human brain in order to treat and prevent mental disorders is important, as are all forms of medical treatment.
Welcome to WordPress.com. After you read this, you should delete and write your own post, with a new title above. Or hit Add New on the left (of the admin dashboard) to start a fresh post.
Here are some suggestions for your first post.
- You can find new ideas for what to blog about by reading the Daily Post.
- Add PressThis to your browser. It creates a new blog post for you about any interesting page you read on the web.
- Make some changes to this page, and then hit preview on the right. You can always preview any post or edit it before you share it to the world.